Creating simpler & better wagering experiences for Tabcorp

Tabcorp, Australia’s largest gaming and entertainment company, has been undertaking a program of technology rationalisation and continuous improvement. The focus of this initiative has been in the wagering area, especially driving standardisation in retail venues and on-course, given the natural organisational synergies that exist in this space.

What we did

process for business users
of errors through automated operations
within expected timeframes and budget

As a part of this work, Tabcorp engaged Ippon Australia to evolve the current operator web-based terminals. The goal of this initiative was to reduce operational complexity for staff by allowing remote management of terminals. It also meant that Tabcorp was more simply able to meet regulatory obligations as well as, importantly, improving customer service experiences. 

Having worked extensively with Tabcorp, Ippon responded to this opportunity through the engagement of a small, focussed cross-functional team who were armed with the context and skills to make this initiative a reality. The team consisted of people skilled in business analysis, front and back end software development as well as manual and automated testing. This combination allowed Tabcorp and Ippon to deliver the initiative on-time and within budget.

Taking a holistic perspective, the team from Tabcorp and Ippon achieved success by focusing on three key areas:

Application performance

Given their experience, the team was cognizant of the performance limitations of the existing application and the additional complexity these changes were going to bring. In response, Ippon delivered a JavaScript Web-Worker based approach for handling management tasks and status updates, which ensured that the existing performance of the application wasn’t impacted. At the same time this allowed the application to leverage more of the available compute capacity on the terminal itself. Ippon took time to understand the existing implementation, while unobtrusively augmenting the application to ensure better outcomes were delivered to customers and operators through a performant application.

Early Integration Testing

In addition to the performance challenges, the team was also aware of the complexity created by managing multiple, concurrent and distributed terminals. As such Ippon conducted integration testing between multiple physical terminals from the very beginning of the initiative as part of the scrum delivery process. This ensured integration bugs were identified early in the development process, instead of during the more formal integration testing period. Whilst requiring additional effort during the development phase, this investment paid significant dividends in the latter part of the initiative as issues and rework were reduced during the integration testing phase of the initiative.

Appropriate Automation Testing

Automation testing is the standard in modern software development, however it’s important to not over-engineering automation testing at the expense of other types of testing, such as exploratory testing. Instead of tick-boxing delivery items, the team focused on automating key flows and behaviours, whilst tactically deploying manual testing with a focus on customer & operator behaviours and expectations. This strategic approach created a new foundation for future enhancements by Tabcorp of the terminal software.

Leveraging a long standing relationship with Tabcorp, our knowledge of their technology environments, our depth of expertise in digital product creation and a proactive and enthusiastic team, Ippon were able to effectively partner with Tabcorp to deliver upon this complex initiative. The resultant improvements will help Tabcorp continue to deliver amazing experiences for their customers whilst reducing the complexity of the environment as well as the cost of delivery. A big thanks to the team at Tabcorp for working with Ippon on this initiative and we look forward to continuing to evolve our mutually beneficial partnership.